Recently I was challenged by my Facebook friend, Jan McCulloch, to list seven books that were particularly important to me. The deal was to post one book cover per day and nominate someone else on take up the challenge. But it was meant to be without comment, so here is my list and why each book is important to me.
Day 1 - And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
This is in my list because it was the first book by Christie that I read.
Day 2 - A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
This was the first book I read that didn't involve spaceships, time travel, hobbit's, murder, demon cars, dragons or mutant rats. But it is brilliant.
Day 3 - Death in a White Tie by Ngiao Marsh
Murder in 1930's high society - need I say more?
Day 4 - The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
The fact of the matter is that if this book hadn't been written, I would never have met my wife to be. You see, my wife played the part of Martha in the BBC adaptation from the 1970's, and it set her on a life course which eventually led to our meeting.
Day 5 - Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
A staggeringly good book from two of the most talented storytellers.
Day 6 - Day of The Triffids by John Wyndham
When I first read this as a teenager I knew I wanted to write, and I wanted to write something as gripping as this - superb.
Day 7 - Heavy Weather by P.G Wodehouse
No one writes quite like P.G Wodehouse writes, and no one writes comedy as well or as insightfully as this great man. Pure genius.
Since I started writing just over a year ago, I have had two stories and a poem accepted for publication in Clarendon House anthologies.
Vortex - Sins of The Father.
Cadence - Run or Hide.
Fireburst - Gods and Owls.
Much of my writing time recently has been taken up with preparing a collection of stories for Clarendon House Publications which I'm tentatively calling 'Deben Market'. The project is currently sitting at about 55,000 words and is about half finished, with twenty stories fleshed out and beginning to take shape.
A 10,000 word murder mystery set in 1930's London has also been submitted to Clarendon House for the Enigma anthology, and also I'm waiting to hear if a little romance will be accepted for their Rapture anthology.
I'm really excited to hear what Grant Hudson, the editor of Clarendon House, thinks of my submission for the Showcase anthology called 'The Old Ways'.
'Serve Cold' has been accepted by Zombie Pirate Publishing for inclusion in their Flash Fiction Addiction anthology. The publication date has yet to be announced.
The mighty and prolific Steven Carr challenged (challenged is too strong a word, encouraged is more fitting), encouraged me to write a western. So I did, it's called 'A Bullet for The Horse' and has been submitted to Typehouse Literary Magazine. I wait with baited breathe.
A sad tale of an immigrant woman is being read by Crannog Magazine - I should hear if it's good enough soon.
And a 1,500 word horror story is looking for a home after not making the grade in a writing contest.
Who knows what the next year will bring.
My second story to be published by Clarendon House Publications, 'Gods and Owls' - A story of despair and hope, appears in this collection along with 65 other brilliant pieces of flash fiction.
Just take a minute to check out the cover, and observe the talent inside including; Steven Carr, Carmen Baca, Gary Bonn, L. T. Waterson, Shawn Klimek, Riham Adly, R.A. Goli and Brandy Bonifas to name just a handful. I can't wait to read every story.
Get it here
Intense, keen, extreme, sincere, deeply felt, wholehearted - you’ll find stories within ranging from the amusing to the overwhelming, from the earnest to the cute.
Clarendon House has once again drawn together a selection of fabulous talents to weave you into their story worlds so that you will scarcely believe what can be done in less than 2,000 words per tale.
Perfect if you want to relish the moments; ideal if you desire entertainment on-the-run; essential if you’re eager to see what the future has to offer in terms of great writers - this is the book for you.
Last summer when I started writing, I intended, as most aspiring authors probably do, to write a novel.
The novel started to grow and I bashed out 50,000 words for NANOWRIMO. I had a hero and a devil in disguise, a love interest and long histories for my characters. I devised a town and a community, and drew maps with street names. Businesses sprang to life and people populated the town.
To my mind, the town of Deben Market was real and filled with the slightly weird characters we may come across once or twice in our lives. A melting pot for the lost and lonely, the bizarre and obscure. On the surface a refined sea side town in England, but scratch that fine veneer of respectability, and the strange histories of the inhabitants rise to the surface.
The novel was to be called The Loneliness of Moony Moore, a murder mystery and ghost story rolled into one.
However, I soon realised that I needed more experience as a writer before a novel could be completed to a standard I was happy with.
At the beginning of this year, I put the project on the back burner and concentrated on short stories. I let my mind and imagination ramble, but I kept coming back to Deben Market. I found myself telling the lives of some of the inhabitants in short story format.
One of those stories became 'Sins of the Father', and was published in Vortex, by Clarendon House Publications earlier this year. I was surprised and honoured to win best story as voted by the members of the FaceBook group, The Inner Circle Writers' Group. Find out more here
The prize for winning, my own anthology of short stories. You guessed it, my stories will be centred around Deben Market and the strangeness that is drawn to it's streets.
The Moony Moore project is evolving.
I am very pleased to announce that my flash fiction piece 'Gods and Owls' is to be included in
FIREBURST – THE INNER CIRCLE WRITERS’ GROUP SECOND FLASH
FICTION ANTHOLOGY 2018
Here's the blurb
Intense, keen, extreme, sincere, deeply felt, wholehearted - you’ll find
stories within ranging from the amusing to the overwhelming, from the
earnest to the cute. Clarendon House has once again drawn together a
selection of fabulous talents to weave you into their story worlds so
that you will scarcely believe what can be done in less than 2,000 words
per tale. Perfect if you want to relish the moments; ideal if you desire
entertainment on-the-run; essential if you’re eager to see what the
future has to offer in terms of great writers - this is the book for you.
A short poem of mine ‘Run or Hide’ is to appear in the upcoming poetry anthology from Clarendon House Publications.
Cadence : The Inner Circle Writers’ Poetry Anthology 2018 will be available in a just a couple of weeks.
In other news this week, my story 'Serve Cold' has been accepted into the Flash Fiction Addiction anthology by Zombie Pirate Publishing.
The date is yet to be announced.
My story ‘Sins of The Father’ has been voted the best story in Vortex, The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Literary Anthology 2018.
To say ‘I am absolutely stunned’ is an understatement.
The quality of storytelling in the anthology is astonishing. Many of the writers found in its pages have been writing for years and are used to being published. I was and still am a newbie.
I have my favourites from the book.
Interlude by L. T. Waterson was a dreamy story of forbidden love and new experiences.
Concrete by Bill Swiggs made me cry.
A Rock n Roll Song by Samantha Hamilton is the cleverest story and most beautifully written.
Kadee Rose by P. A. O’Neil was a slice of rodeo life.
Hey Demon I’ll Make You A Deal by Elizabeth Montague is a brilliant two hander between a woman and her doubts.
I Wish by Riham Adly will take your breath away.
Some of my favourite short story authors can be found inside, Steven Carr, Gary Bonn, Mehreen Ahmed and Carmen Baca to name few.
I could go on and on. I’m sure you get my meaning. Many if not all of the stories were, in my opinion, much better than my effort.
And to think, complete strangers thought mine was the best of the bunch, even after reading these fabulous stories by super talented writers.
Unbelievable – I am truly honoured.
The upshot is that the publisher, Clarendon House Publications, is giving me the opportunity to have my own anthology of short stories published.
Now the hard work begins, I have a lot to live up to.
You can get Vortex for your Kindle from Amazon
Or in paperback at Lulu